Clinician-centered design in EHRs improves workflow

Design for electronic health records that is clinician-centered can help improve workflow in ambulatory healthcare settings, a recent report found.

The report, published at eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes), examined lessons learned from implementing recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology into a software prototype for the Veteran's Health Administration's VAi2 innovation project.

The authors of the report, from Ohio State University, NIST and Johns Hopkins University, put into play 12 of the 15 recommendations to improve workflow made by NIST.

The recommendations implemented include scheduling support with at-a-glance overviews of patients for the day; supporting established diagnosis-based workflow; supporting communication with specialist physicians about referrals and consultations; and more.

The authors found that these recommendations, when using an EHR, can be a first step to move to a clinician-centered perspective that "more centrally revolves around the needs of primary care providers--including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners."

They add that this also creates a "patient visit management system." That system expands the notions of supporting workload management and a flexible flow of patients and tasks. Study (.pdf)